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Coventry Crusaders (41) 84
Teesside Mohawks (47) 92

Despite stiff opposition from Highfield Road, the Coventry Crusaders maintained their recent record as the city’s most out-of-form team by losing their tenth match on the bounce.

A good game plan came to little fruition as an early advantage slipped against the high-scoring Mohawks.

Patience was brought to the performance by Dip Donaldson, who ran the point guard position for most of the game, coming off only occasionally for a breather.

The Crusaders led at the end of the first quarter 22-21 in spite of Ralph Bucci’s 11 first quarter points.

Opponent Bucci continued to score at that rate all evening, racking up 44 in total, including six three-pointers, and by half time the Mohawks had taken a  47-41 lead.

The Crusaders kept on coming back, never letting the Mohawks lead by more than 12 points, but by the end of the third, were down by 9 points and struggling to contain Bucci. 

The final quarter saw the Crusaders intensifying their performance, keeping the pressure on Teesside. The home team came within 5 points of equalising the score before time ran out and the northern side returned home with another victory.

Donaldson said:

"This game was as much a contrast from the last time we played Teesside as it was possible to be.

“Last time we faced them up north we were totally routed.  Nothing went our way and we had a dismal performance.

“This game was very much more our true style and an example of what we really can do, and the result was that we hung in there with them the whole game.

“I was really pleased with our team performance over all. Marvin Harrison had another great game, and Derrick Pope was the leader and a prime force to be reckoned with all evening.

“They still don’t have a way to stop Pope when he moves inside.”

Crusaders will be at the Coventry Sports Centre on Saturday for their final league game of the season. Their game will be preceded by the Coventry Quality Cats’ final game.

The women’s games tarts at 5pm, with the Crusaders taking the court at 7.30 pm.

Crusaders scorers: Rhooms 2, N. Pope 3, Sharland 6, Scott 6, Girbal 7, Donaldson 12, D. Pope 20, Harison 28

Mohawks scorers: Hopper 2, Stonebridge 2, Tellakis 3, Ley 12, Swaine 14, Jackson 15, Bucci 44

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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 19 Mar 01
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